Segregation, exclusion and LGBT people in disaster impacted areas: experiences from the Higashinihon Dai-Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster).

Author:

Yamashita, A. Gomez, C. Dombroski, K.

Editor:

First

Date:

2015

Region:

Asia

Theme:

Gender Identities and Expression, Sexual Orientations and Disasters

Language:

English

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis Group

Full Harvard Reference:

Yamashita, A. Gomez, C. Dombroski, K. (2015). Segregation, exclusion and LGBT people in disaster impacted areas: experiences from the Higashinihon Dai-Shinsai (Great East-Japan Disaster). Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. Vol 24, I 1. p64-71.

The Great East-Japan Disaster of 2011, prompted discussions throughout the Japanese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on the vulnerabilities that LGBT people face during disaster. This short essay shares some of the post-disaster experiences, challenges and discussions of the LGBT community in Japan. Reports coming out of the LGBT community have stressed that pre-disaster discrimination and fears of discrimination and repression among LGBT people have hampered their recovery and exacerbated their isolation. Despite the majority being reluctant to come out publically, the disaster forced numerous individuals to reveal their gender identity, particularly when confronted with life in shelters, the lack of supply of medication and so on. In turn, this has resulted in instances of discrimination and bullying. These accounts reveal that the main aims of disaster policies and disaster ethics – based on addressing the greatest good of the majority – largely fail to cater for LGBT people, who are not only victims of the disaster but can also be valuable contributors in DRR process.